From coast-to-coast Canadian teens apply for World Vision Youth Ambassador

Six remarkable youth to be selected to travel to Rwanda as global advocates

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 15 /CNW/ - With less than a month to go, hundreds of Canadian youth are getting ready to submit their applications in the hope of becoming a World Vision Youth Ambassador. This youth exchange program teaches young Canadians how they can inspire youth to make tangible differences to help their peers in developing countries. Six promising young Canadians, ages 16-19, will be chosen to represent their provinces as global advocates to mobilize other youth to speak out for change and fight poverty. They will have the opportunity to travel to Rwanda on a two week journey to learn about the challenges of poverty and how World Vision is working with people to overcome barriers such as malnutrition and access to basic necessities like clean water, food and shelter.

"The Youth Ambassador program encourages the best and most passionate Canadian youth leaders to rise to address global issues and to inspire their peers to do the same. What's truly unique about our program is that it gives youth the opportunity to see and learn first-hand about how development works," says Henry Vanderspek, Youth and Campus Coordinator for World Vision. "These six ambassadors have the unique opportunity to visit World Vision's programs, learn from the staff and community members, and to see how partnership with World Vision helps brings about real change."

During their trip, the Canadian youth will also participate in a four day youth forum with young African leaders from Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Three years of youth forums have helped inspire the formation of dozens of high school clubs in Tanzania and Rwanda, with youth in each taking on issues of gender, HIV and AIDS, the environment and youth empowerment. Canadian Youth Ambassadors, like their African peers, will return home ready to engage and mobilize other youth throughout the year to get involved in making a difference.

"As a Youth Ambassador with World Vision, I was able to share my experiences with others, which helped to motivate them to rise to the challenge and address poverty head on," says Max Seunik, 19, a 2009 Youth Ambassador from Mississauga. "As Canadians, it is our obligation to the rest of the world to stand up against hunger. Every single Canadian has the ability to change lives - to reach out and extend a hand to struggling communities globally."

Now in its fourth year, the World Vision Youth Ambassador competition is open to the more than 100,000 youth who annually participate in the World Vision 30 Hour Famine. World Vision will evaluate youth on their leadership potential and involvement with global issues. Program funding is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

If you are interested in applying for the Youth Ambassador program and would like to learn more about eligibility and application process, please visit Applications are due April 23, 2010.

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: Corina Chevalier, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3899,; Karen Flores, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3497, (416) 277-5563 (cell),

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